English import Luke Stephenson led the way for an exciting 4-3 win by Cambridge Reserves against Franklin United in the Lotto NRFL second division reserves competition.
The young winger moved to New Zealand at the end of last summer to further his football education and he’s featured for the Reds first and second teams since but without scoring.
He changed all that with an outstanding long-range goal and then a sweetly taken angled shot that clinched the game for the Reds.
“The first was one of the best goals I’ve ever scored,” he said after the match.
His winner helped the reserves end a nine-game streak without a win.
Cambridge went behind after 15 minutes when Tristan Bannink scored for the South Aucklanders.
Andrew Taylor levelled for the Reds in the 29th minute and defender Dehein Hindley gave Cambridge the lead four minutes later.
But the lead only lasted a couple of minutes as Adam Rush made it 2-2.
Just before break, Stephenson cut loose, turned and struck a cracking half-volley from 25 metres to give Cambridge a deserved lead.
Early in the second half, Logan Johnson found an equaliser for Franklin.
Stephenson almost scored with a shot from wide that struck the post.
He made sure with his next opportunity, striking the winner in the 62nd minute.
Cambridge saw out the match to celebrate their first win since April 19.
Main photo: Stephenson turns to celebrate after scoring his second goal.
Next Saturday (July 6), Cambridge play Greenhithe Catimba in Auckland (reserves k/o 12.30pm, first teams 3pm).
Lotto NRFL second division reserves results
Franklin United 3
Greenhithe Catimba 1
Claudelands Rovers 4
Oratia United 2
Northland FC 1
Unimount Bohemian Celtic 0
Onehunga Mangere 1
Albany United 0
Cambridge lost 1-0 to Franklin United in the main game at John Kerkhof Park.